Our Mission
"We desire to promote
enrichment and education
in the musical arts
for teachers and their students."


February/March 2023

President's Message

From our President, Kim Farrell

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year! CNYAMT has some great opportunities in 2023 for members and their students that I am looking forward to. A huge thank you to our board members, chairs and committee members for all your hard work and effort to make this organization a meaningful one for our members and their students. 

We welcome our new members for 2022-23:

Nick Ablegore Scott Cuellar Kay Smith Paulsen

Katherine Montcrieff Sarah Quinn  Christopher Spinelli Katie Weber

Thank you & congratulations to Beth Scott & Bernadette Kessler on organizing a very successful and entertaining Holiday Recital at Barnes and Noble on 12-03-22. Thank you also to Robbie Padilla for the use of his piano!

Upcoming Events in February & March:

Our Friday Forum, now called Teacher Forum has been changed to Thursdays, with the first forum being this week, on 02-16-23. Contact Mary Whittington at whittingtonpiano@gmail.com for more information.

The Community Outreach Valentine Recital was postponed due to COVID concerns. The new recital date is Sunday, March 12th at 4:00pm at Maple Downs in Fayetteville. If you are interested in having your students play for this recital, please contact me at farrellka4@gmail.com. There are only a few openings left for this event.

The Baroque, Classical and Sonatina Festival will take place on 03-11-23. Contact Lynn Moroz at lynnlmoroz @gmail.com.

Artist Pianos Advanced Piano Competition is Saturday, March 25th with the Winner’s Recital on Sunday 03-26. Contact Amy Heyman at agheyman@syr.edu.

April and May Events:

Community Outreach April Fool’s Day Recital. Information below!

Piano Master Class - April 29th, Bernadette Kessler

Instrumental Competition - May 6th, Dana DiGennaro

Senior Scholarship Competition – May 7th, Dana DiGennaro

Vocal Competition – May 13th at OCC, Neva Pilgrim and Gayle Ross

Senior Merit Scholarship - Barb Irwin

All members are welcome to join us at the next board meeting on Wednesday April 12th at 10:30 a.m. 

For a Zoom invitation, contact Kim:  farrellka4@gmail.com

Click below for the

2022-2023 Calendar

The Barnes & Noble Holiday Bookfair Recitals on Saturday, December 10 at Barnes & Noble in Clay, were a huge success with 14 teachers and 104 students providing music from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

CNYAMT netted $228.60 from a percentage of the in-store sales that day. A huge thank you goes out to Robbie Padilla for the donated use of his keyboard throughout the day. The students had a lot of fun and many shoppers from the store not only attended the recitals, but also expressed how much they enjoyed the entertainment.

Special thanks to our teachers, their students, families and friends that supported our event. If you did not get a chance to participate and would like to make a donation, go to cnyamt.org and click on the link

to Holiday Fundraiser on the front page.

Baroque, Classical, and Sonatina Piano Festival

March 11, 2023 

Artists Pianos

5780 Celi Dr.

East Syracuse, N.Y. 13057

Registration deadline: February 25, 2023 

The purpose of this festival is for students to explore, prepare, and play one selection from the Baroque and/or Classical periods or one movement from a Sonatina.

Our guest Judge is Diane Birr from Ithaca, New York.

For information and forms, go to:


The 2023 Artist Pianos Competition 

March 25th, 2023

(Winners Recital, March 26th) 

Park Central Presbyterian Church

504 E. Fayette Street

Syracuse, NY 13202

Registration deadline: March 4, 2023

Students, ages 8 - high school, are encouraged to participate.

This year’s judges are Milton Laufer from the Setnor School of Music, and Vicki Von Arx of the University at Albany.

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • The student’s teacher must be an active member of CNYAMT in good standing as of October 1, 2022.
  • Students from the following counties are eligible:

Onondaga, Oswego, Oneida, Madison, Cayuga, Tompkins, and Cortland

For more information and online application, go to: www.cnyamt.org/artist-pianos-adv--piano-competitions

Get Ready For Some Fun!

CNYAMT’s first ever “April Fool’s” Recital!

Saturday, April 1

This is the perfect opportunity to teach novelty pieces, explore humorous repertoire, or get creative with your students to present more standard fare in unexpected ways. For example, the program will include: Haydn’s Minuet al Rovescio, satirical pieces like “Not Für Elise”, and duets with part-switching, balloon popping, and more. Performers are encouraged to tell jokes from the stage and use costumes or props to add to the fun! As Cole Porter would say, “Anything goes!”

Please reply to Mary Whittington (whittingtonpiano@gmail.com) by Friday, March 4 with participating student names and program information.

CNYAMT Piano Concerto Masterclass

April 29, 2023 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Park Central Presbyterian Church

“Finding Beauty and Pedagogical Purpose in Alexander Peskanov’s Youth Piano Concerti”

Guest Clinicians: Professor Ida Tili-Trebicka and Dr. Elena Nezhdanova

Alexander Peskanov is one of the world's leading successful composers of piano concerti for youth. His seventeen youth concerti represent a wealth of melodic, technical, and stylistic features. Several concerti of Mr. Peskanov's, a Ukrainian born composer, are based on folk themes and songs that serve as outstanding educational pieces that fuse European and other cultures and folklore, including Ukrainian, Italian, Maryland, to name a few.

The presentation will include several of Peskanov’s concerti, including the most recently published ones, and focus on their essential elements of pianism, technique, and artistry and provide examples from each work. To conclude our workshop, we would like to give a masterclass to students performing a concerto of their choice.

2023 Instrumental Competition

The competition will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2023 in person at Park Central Presbyterian Church in Syracuse. The competition is open to all wind, brass, percussion, and string students, grades 4-12, now in three divisions.

  • 4th-8th grade all instruments
  • 9th-12th grade winds and percussion
  • 9th-12th grades strings.

CNYAMT membership is not required to participate.

We are hoping that the competition will help motivate our students and give them another opportunity to perform their well-polished NYSSMA solos. All entrants will receive written comments from professional judges. Winners will receive monetary prizes and may be featured on the CNYAMT Instrumental Competition winners recital, which will take place on Sunday, May 7, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.


The deadline for applications is April 21, 2023. An application and pertinent information can be found on our website at: www.cnyamt.org under the festivals and competitions tab. All applications and application fees must be submitted online via the cnyamt.org website.


We appreciate your consideration, and hope that you will enter your students for this invaluable experience. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact either of us. Also, please pass along this information to anyone you think might be interested!

Dana DiGennaro (danadigennaro@gmail.com

James Krehbiel (jkrehbie@twcny.rr.com)

Competition Chairs


Click the flyer

for information about the High School Vocal Competition for Grades 9-12!

Student Lesson Tuition Assistance

Applications are now being accepted for

January 1, 2023 - June 30, 2023

The purpose is to provide funds toward the tuition of private music lessons for students who lack the financial means to further their training due to current economic conditions. The amount of the tuition assistance is based on our availability of funds, as well as the applicant’s referral from their CNYAMT teacher.


 Teacher must be a current 2022-2023 CNYAMT member.

 Teacher and student were active participants in our yearly events.

 Teacher must be the instructor of the major instrument the applicant will study.

Awards will be distributed across applications on a rotating basis, one student at a time per teacher, in order of need. Please submit one application per student.

For questions or further information contact: 

Bernadette Kessler


(315) 569-8241

The online application can be found on our website cnyamt.org under

Fundraisers and Scholarships or by clicking the link the below:

2023 Student Lesson Tuition Assistance Application

Music Camp Tuition Assistance

Applications are now being accepted!

The purpose is to provide students with funds designed to go toward the tuition of a summer music camp. The scholarship committee determines the amount of the tuition assistance, based on our availability of funds, as well as, the applicant’s age, CNYAMT participation and musical experience.


  • Teacher must be an active CNYAMT member, participating in yearly events.
  • Teacher must be the instructor of the major instrument the applicant will study at the camp.
  • Student must be currently taking lessons from a CNYAMT teacher and have participated in 3 of this year’s CNYAMT events. (September 2022-May 2023)
  • Kindergarten thru grade 12 may apply. 
  • First time applicants receive priority if funds are limited.


May 15, 2023

The teacher will be notified with the committee’s decision by June 1, 2023.

Any incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY: Fill out the Student Application on the webpage.

TEACHER RESPONSIBILITY: Fill out the Teacher Recommendation Form on the webpage.

For questions or further information contact: 

Bernadette Kessler


(315) 569-8241

The online application can be found on our website cnyamt.org under Fundraisers and Scholarships or by clicking the link the below:

2023 Music Camp Tuition Assistance Application

James Lee Vatter

Memorial Fund

Piano Assistance Program

The James Lee Vatter Memorial Fund was established in memory of our special colleague and his passion for students. The purpose of the program is to provide monetary assistance towards the purchase of a piano for a student in need. The amount of assistance is based on the availability of funds, as well as the applicant’s referral from their CNYAMT teacher.

  • Teacher must be a current CNYAMT member in good standing as of October 1, 2022.
  • Teacher must be the instructor of the instrument the applicant will purchase.
  • Teacher must be an active participant in our yearly events.
  • Teacher must be active in choosing the instrument.

James L. Vatter Memorial Fund Application

For further questions and information, contact

Bernadette Kessler: bckessler@twcny.rr.com

2023 CNYAMT Senior

Music Merit Scholarship

This scholarship is offered to high school seniors pursuing a college degree in music. 

  • No audition is required.
  • Applications must be submitted by May 15th
  • The Music Merit Scholarship forms are now available on our CNYAMT website.

If you have a student who is a high school senior and is planning to major in music next year at an accredited university or college, please encourage them to apply. If they meet the following eligibility requirements and are interested in applying, they must have their applications in by May 15th. It has been determined by the Scholarship Committee that the award this year will be $1000, to be divided among deserving applicants. The student must be a high school senior, in good academic standing, on track to graduate during the current academic year. 

  • The student must currently be taking lessons from a CNYAMT teacher who has been a member since Oct. 2021.
  • The student must have participated in CNYAMT performances, events or competitions during the past three years. 
  • Students who have won the high school scholarship competition are not eligible for this scholarship. 
  • The student must be approved by their current CNYAMT teacher. (signature needed on last page) 
  • The student must submit their scholarship application on or before the deadline date, May 15th.

(The merit scholarship should not be confused with the competition scholarship for which the student must compete.)

If you have any questions, please contact Barb Irwin, birwin1@twcny.rr.com or 458-9020.

CNYAMT Private Facebook Group

Along with our CNYAMT Facebook page, which highlights events and information about our organization, CNYAMT now has a CNYAMT private Facebook group for members called CNYAMT Member Forum. This private group is for members of CNYAMT to discuss anything related to teaching music. Post a question, share an interesting resource, or tell us what's happening in your studio or classroom! Only CNYAMT members can join this group and the content posted here is not viewable to others. Please do not share student names or identifying information without their consent and ask before sharing anything posted here. Thank you for being a part of this supportive social space! Want to be a part of this exciting new group? Send an email to one of the admins of the page so they can add you. 




Have you checked out our

TEACHER RESOURCES page on our website?

It provides useful information from our members to our members about all things music. Have something you'd like to share? Send it to Joanne at cnyamt@gmail.com to be uploaded.

Teacher Forum has been a wonderful way for CNYAMT members to get to know each other and share in the collective wisdom, expertise, and sense of humor in our community of teachers.

Our next Teacher Forum is scheduled for February 16, 2023 at 11:30 a.m. Please note the new time and refer to the CNYAMT Calendar for our monthly dates.

Feel free to contact Mary Whittington with topics you'd like to discuss. Please join us for stimulating conversation and virtual camaraderie!

Previous forum topics are posted on our website under Teacher Forum!

CNYAMT Sunshine

Are you a person who loves to spread good cheer? We are looking for a volunteer who could send out a greeting on behalf of our members to express our sympathy, condolences, or get well wishes to members who have lost a loved one or a pet, had surgery, or required hospitalization for an illness. If you’d like to be our Sunshine person, contact Kim Farrell: farrellka4@gmail.com

2022-2023 Board of Directors

Our board members are an invaluable resource in acting in the best interests of our organization. They are creative, articulate, and bring their own skills, experience, and knowledge to support our members and students. They not only serve on the board, but also chair or serve on the committees of CNYAMT events. They serve a 3 year term with a 3-term limit.

Board of Directors 

(Numbers listed indicate the year of the present term)

Mary Ellen DiPietra (9)

Gayle Ross (9)

Michelle Wilcox (5)

Mary Whittington (3)

Laura Enslin (1)

Barbara Irwin (1)

Joanne Mroczek (1)

Need more information? Check out our website and social media!